The ultimate anti-Calvinist-crushing verse.
Ecclesiastes 9:11 “I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.”
One blogger wrote about this post that this verse in Ecclesiastes demolishes Calvinism mentality. But rightly dividing the Scriptures (2 Tim.2:15) will tell you the other way, that’s why I would like to say it demolishes anti-Calvinist mentality. I need you to watch this closely.
But,remember that the truth of the Scripture must not be ascribed to Calvin as you don’t want your stand ascribed to “Armenius”, nor to Pharisees. But I’d like to borrow the thought that some have for Calvinist, preferably because of the five points which is easily recognized. But remember also that it is not owned by Calvin , he just preached it as Paul preached it.
Just answering this question to whom the book was written deletes the controversy. It was not written to Gentiles that time but to Israel.
Ecc 1:1 The words of the Preacher, the son of David, king in Jerusalem.
Ecc 1:12 I the Preacher was king over Israel in Jerusalem.
The king was writing to Israel . And Israel during that time according to God’s program , Israel is His elect people. That is God’s way and reason of choosing, so where is the chance of the Gentiles there? It is only in this age of grace where Paul the apostle told us according to God’s revelation of the place of the believing Gentiles (Eph.2:12).If it pertains to RACE everyone establishes his own tribe. If it pertains to BATTLE everyone can fight for his existence , but God fights for Israel during those times. Concerning BREAD one can find his own food. Of RICHES one can find it in this world though we know that God FAVORED much Israel because it is His chosen nation (although no longer TODAY in this age of grace for the church), but God has grace for all His creation. But recognizing that He did not entrusted the oracles to the Gentiles but to Israel ONLY (Rm.3:2) during that time make us think that it is unto God to decide whom He will favor much. We must not be envious or questioning God’s way of election.
Back to whom the word of God was written, and since it was entrusted to Israelites, we can see that Gentiles during that time do not have the chance of knowing God and His will if it pertains to His words because it is not for them. So Ecclesiastes was written especially for Israelites, NOT FOR ALL yet. It is only when Israel rejected God’s way that God’s word no longer have to be first for Israelites, and we who are not Jews can benefit from God’s wisdom through the book written by king Solomon.
Act 13:46 “Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.”
Not all the times and not all the chances happened to all men. The author mentioned it in a limited sense, and verse 12 of Ecclesiastes 9 tells us it is about one’s parting in this world. He is only telling us that time and chance happened not ONLY to swift, to strong,to the wise, to those with understanding and to those with skills, but even to slow, weak, fools, ignorant and unskilled. One’s life is taken away no matter if he is strong or weak.It is never discussing against ‘Calvinism’ because the author of Ecclesiastes understand the sovereignty of God and His grace to the elect nation, Israel. Calvin and the others only agrees with the author in their Five points commonly known today and this verse is mostly against ‘anti-Calvinist’ minds.